Simon Coveney to step down from Irish cabinet as Fine Gael seeks 'new look'

Simon Coveney has said he does not want to be considered as part of incoming Irish premier Simon Harris’ new Cabinet.
Simon CoveneySimon Coveney
Simon Coveney

In a post on the social media platform X, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mr Coveney announced that he will step down from cabinet when the Dail resumes next week.

Mr Coveney said he has spoken to Fine Gael leader Simon Harris to inform him of his decision.

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"I'll continue to work as a proud TD for Cork South Central and will of course actively support the government in the Dáil," Mr Coveney said.

Speaking to RTE, Mr Coveney said he did not know if he would have been asked to serve in a new cabinet, but said it would make life easier for the new party leader if he stepped aside.

"I respect the fact he's made it clear that he wants to create a new-look Fine Gael in many ways, to promote new talent in the party," Mr Coveney said.

Mr Coveney added: “I know he was struggling with the decision in relation to who would be in and who’d be out.

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“I think that for me having been in the cabinet, which has been an amazing experience for 13 years, which is a lot more than most politicians have the privilege of having in cabinet, I felt that the time was right both from his point of view and from mine to give them, him, space to create a new opportunity in the party in government.

“He thanked me and respected that.

“I think one of the most difficult things actually as an incoming party leader and incoming Taoiseach is to form a team that can slot into government well, particularly in an election year. I totally respect that that is a really difficult decision for Simon.”

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